2024 MG 4 XPower review

19 minutes, 35 seconds Read

The MG 4 XPower is ferociously fast in a straight line, but how do the rest of this electric hot hatch’s performance credentials stand up?

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What we love
  • Ferocious acceleration
  • Great daily driver
  • Value for money
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What we don’t
  • Dynamic abilities don’t match performance
  • Lack of driver engagement
  • Doesn’t look special enough compared to the rest of the MG 4 range

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2024 MG 4 XPower

Let’s get one thing out of the way. The MG 4 XPower is an extremely fast car. In a straight line. And it’s arguably the fastest accelerating car for under $60,000, with straight-line performance that puts some sports and supercars to shame.

The headline number here is 3.8. That’s how long it takes the MG 4 XPower to complete the benchmark sprint from 0–100km/h. That’s 3.8 seconds, remarkable for any car, let alone for one priced under $60K. For context, a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 takes 4.2 seconds.

The MG 4 line-up can only be described as a success for the brand. Since launching in August, MG has sold 2527 across its range of electric hatchbacks, placing it third in VFACTS’ Small Car Over $40K segment behind only the petrol-driven Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. On current trajectory, it should overhaul the Germans as rapidly as the XPower can accelerate.

Now, with the performance-focused XPower joining the wider MG 4 range, is the brand’s most potent electric car just a one-trick pony? Or is there some substance to back up that phenomenal acceleration? Let’s find out.

How much does the MG 4 XPower cost in Australia?

The MG 4 XPower is priced from $59,990 plus on-road costs. That pushes the all-wheel-drive electric ‘hot hatch’ straight to the top of the MG 4 range, which has expanded to five models with the addition of the XPower.

The range starts with one of Australia’s most affordable electric cars, the MG 4 Excite 51, priced from $38,990 before on-road costs. At the other end, the MG 4 Long Range 77 delivers a claimed driving range of 530km and the full gamut of standard equipment. It’s priced from $55,990 (plus on-roads), some $4000 under the new flagship.

But it’s the mid-spec Essence 64 providing the template for the XPower, the new flagship sharing much of the Essence’s specification.

That means a strong list of standard equipment including LED headlights and tail-lights, a 7.0-inch instrument display, 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation, single-zone climate control, a 360-degree camera, rear parking sensors, vehicle-to-load technology, heated synthetic leather-look front seats with XPower-unique Alcantara inserts, keyless entry and start, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The XPower also shares the Essence 64’s 64kWh battery. But the similarities end there. Whereas the battery in the Essence 64 is good for a claimed driving range of 435km, the same 64kWh battery in the XPower delivers a much-reduced 400km.

And that’s because the XPower is fitted with two electric motors (one at each axle powering all four wheels) against the Essence’s single motor driving the rear wheels only.

The are other technical changes, too, compared to the broader MG 4 range. The suspension is 25 per cent stiffer thanks to retuned dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars – as well as revised steering, advanced torque-vectoring software, an electronic differential lock, launch control, and a Track mode.

The XPower’s brakes have been upgraded, with 345mm ventilated rotors on all four wheels for extra stopping power. The regular MG 4 is fitted with ventilated 300x25mm discs up front and solid 300x12mm at rear.

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The XPower’s 18-inch alloy wheels feature a unique five-spoke design. They’re wrapped in Bridgestone Turanza tyres, MG eschewing Bridgestone’s more performance-focused Potenza range of tyres for the same rubber fitted to the regular MG 4 Essence 64 and Long Range 77.

Look closely at the orange brake calipers, and they do look pretty special against the Hunter Green matte paint of our test car, and you’ll soon notice they’re not lairy orange calipers at all. Instead, they’re caliper covers, hiding ordinary-looking Continental brake calipers said to be upgraded over the broader MG 4 range.

That Hunter Green paint, by the way, is unique to the MG 4 XPower and is a $1000 option, the only hue in the eight-colour palette attracting a premium. There are no other options to be had. All up, our test car ran to $60,990 before on-road costs or $62,736 drive-away in NSW.

Rivals are few and far between, the XPower’s combination of performance and price almost placing it in a class of its own. The Cupra Born electric hatchback matches the MG 4 on price ($59,990) but doesn’t come anywhere near its performance, with a claimed 7.0 seconds for the benchmark sprint from 0–100km/h. The Cupra’s 511km claimed driving range does, though, trump the XPower’s 400km by some margin.

Probably the closest match on price and performance is the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, its $71,990 sticker price some $12K more than the XPower. It’s still slower than the MG 4, and by some way, the Tesla completing the benchmark sprint in 4.4sec. But at 629km, the Model 3’s claimed driving range is more than 50 per cent greater than that of the MG.

Key details 2024 MG 4 XPower
Price $59,990 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Hunter Green
Options Premium paint – $1000
Price as tested $60,990 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $62,736 (in NSW)
Rivals Cupra Born | Tesla Model 3 | Volkswagen Golf R

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How much space does the MG 4 XPower have inside?

The cabin of the XPower retains the simplicity of the broader MG 4 range. With little in the way of bling, the interior offers few distractions, just as it should be.

The seats, with six-way power adjustment, are trimmed in synthetic leather with genuine Alcantara inserts and contrast orange stitching. They’re comfortable enough and with good bolstering, although they’re not the last word on performance-car seats.

The steering wheel, flattened top and bottom, is adjustable for tilt and reach and finding the ideal driving position is easy.

There’s no starter button, no key-in-barrel. Instead, the MG 4 XPower lights up as soon as you sit in the driver’s seat. Starting the car is then as simple as applying brake pressure and selecting drive (or reverse) on the rotary gear selector.

The cabin overall feels quite spacious, thanks in part to the absence of a transmission tunnel. That means a flat floor inside, which not only provides extra foot room in the second row, but also adds additional storage.

The materials throughout are a blend of softer and harder, scratchier plastics. It seems a little incongruous to us, though, that the dashtop, which is not a touchpoint, is finished in a softer, padded, leather-look material, while the tops of the door cards, definitely a touchpoint, are furnished in hard, scratchy plastics. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Storage options are pretty basic. There are a pair of cupholders located down low in the centre console in the space usually taken up by a bulky transmission tunnel. It’s not the best place for storing and accessing drinks while on the move. Hampering access even further, the cupholders are located under the small ledge that’s home to the gear selector. Ergonomics took a back seat in this instance, we feel.

It’s a comment thread with the rest of the centre console, which is also located quite low in relation to the driver. Items don’t fall to hand as easily as they might.

A central storage bin is serviceable enough and features an additional pocket located on its forward fascia, ideal for smartphones or wallets. It’s one of the smarter storage items in the front row.

The second row is quite spacious with comfortable enough seats. Toe room under the front seats is okay, while knee and leg room are good, certainly behind my 173cm driving position. Taller Drive testers, those over 183cm tall, have previously noted second-row space is ‘modest’.

The middle seat, as is so often the case, is slightly elevated and a touch firmer than the outboard seats, not ideal for longer road trips.

There’s little in the way of amenities in row two, with no cupholders, no fold-down armrest, and the door pockets are on the small side and will struggle to accept bottles.

There are map pockets in each of the front seatbacks as well as smaller – and very handy – smartphone-sized pockets in those same seatbacks.

There are no air vents in the second row, while a lone USB Type-A plug is the only thing between you and smartphone oblivion.

The outboard seats are fitted with ISOFIX child-seat mounts, while all three seating positions feature top-tether anchors.

MG claims the XPower’s boot space runs to 363 litres with the second row in use. That expands to 1165L with row-two seating stowed away in 60:40-split fashion. But some of the available cargo space is eaten up by the bag holding the charging cable, which looms large and loose in the boot. There’s enough space left over, though, for a couple of smaller suitcases, or a large case and some softer bags. A tyre inflation kit lives under the boot floor.

2024 MG 4 XPower
Seats Five
Boot volume 363L seats up
1165L seats folded
Length 4287mm
Width 1836mm
Height 1516mm
Wheelbase 2705mm

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Does the MG 4 XPower have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Central to the MG 4’s infotainment set-up is a 10.25-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, integrated satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and voice control. There’s also FM and DAB+ (digital) radio reception, although the MG 4 misses out on the AM band.

The infotainment system is reasonably clear and easy to use with an app-like menu structure that responds to inputs easily… some of the time. We did experience several instances where several deliberate jabs or swipes were required before the system responded.

There are physical shortcut buttons underneath the screen for audio volume and switching the climate control on and off, but they look and feel a bit flimsy.

The touchscreen houses much of the MG 4’s functions including climate controls, seat heating and the like. Accessing the relevant screen requires several inputs; a constant bugbear, and not ideal while on the move.

Apple CarPlay also proved tetchy. There’s no wireless smartphone integration so you’ll need a cable to connect. But the system isn’t without its faults, the connection taking an age to fire up, if it all, and then dropping out frequently even at the slightest provocation.

Traversing a speed bump? Apple CarPlay dropped out. Turning a corner resulting in a slight movement of the phone? Apple CarPlay dropped out. I’m not the only Drive tester to experience this issue. And just to be certain, using different cables to connect didn’t alleviate the problem either.

Owners can access some of the MG 4’s functions remotely via the brand’s ‘iSmart’ phone app – locking and unlocking the doors, vehicle tracking, cabin pre-cooling or heating, and managing the MG 4’s charging can all be done even when you’re nowhere near the XPower.

Standard in the XPower are 360-degree and rear-view cameras, which provide good quality images, making for an easy time of parking. Not so easy is an absence of front parking sensors, although there are sensors at the rear.

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Is the MG 4 XPower a safe car?

The MG 4 range was awarded a five-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) in 2023, under just-superseded 2020-2022 test criteria based on testing conducted in 2022 by ANCAP’s European counterpart Euro NCAP.

It scored well in all four key criteria, awarded 83 per cent for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for child occupant protection, 75 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 81 per cent for safety assist crash-avoidance technology.

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What safety technology does the MG 4 XPower have?

Standard safety technology in the MG 4 XPower includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-following assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition, six airbags, as well as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and door exit warning.

Our testing didn’t reveal any glaring inconsistencies with the XPower’s safety assist systems. Thankfully, autonomous emergency braking wasn’t required at any point and nor did it provide any false positive readings.

The lane-keeping assist didn’t feel overly intrusive either, while adaptive cruise control worked well in maintaining set speeds, although we found it a bit too eager to reduce speed when approaching even the merest hint of a bend in the road.

The various systems can be calibrated via the infotainment touchscreen to provide either milder or stronger interventions, or can be switched off completely.

How much does the MG 4 XPower cost to maintain?

The MG 4 XPower is covered by the brand’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty including the battery.

Services are required every two years or 40,000km, whichever comes first, and come under the brand’s Precise Price Servicing Plan.

The first scheduled service at two years and 40,000km is priced at $296, while the second scheduled visit to the workshop (four years and 80,000km) sees pricing jump significantly to $962. It’s back to $296 for the third scheduled maintenance. All up, over six years and 120,000km, the MG 4 XPower will cost $1554 to maintain.

Comprehensive insurance runs to $2230 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 MG 4 XPower
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Battery warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 24 months or 40,000km
Servicing costs $1258 (4 years)
$1554 (6 years)

Is the MG 4 XPower energy-efficient?

MG claims the MG 4 will use 15.2 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometres on the combined driving cycle. Our time with the little electric hot hatch returned an indicated 15.6kWh/100km, which is pretty impressive against the manufacturer’s laboratory testing-derived claim.

Our driving loops encompassed plenty of stop-start traffic (great for energy regeneration), a decent amount of urban driving, plenty of highway running and a smattering of more spirited driving.

Based on our average consumption, achieved over 311km of mixed driving conditions, we’d expect in excess of 400km of driving range. Interestingly, MG’s Australian brochure claims exactly 400km of range, while in Europe the claim is a more circumspect 385km. Expect the reality to be somewhere within that range.

Charging times can vary depending on the power source. MG claims it’ll take nine hours to recharge the 64kWh battery using a 6.6kW home-installed wallbox, which is the maximum AC charging power MG says the car can accept.

Going public with your charging needs will dramatically reduce that time. A 50kW public charging station will replenish the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 60 minutes, while a 150kW fast charger cuts charging time to just 28 minutes. It’s worth pointing out, though, the MG 4 XPower can only accept charge at a maximum rate of 140kW. That doesn’t stop you using the 350kW ultra-fast DC chargers, of course, but it won’t be any faster, the MG 4 only capable of receiving the maximum rate of 140kW.

What about using a simple household power outlet? Forget it, the recharge time is easily in excess of 24 hours. Stump up for a home charging set-up is our recommendation.

Energy Efficiency Energy Stats
Energy cons. (claimed) 15.2kWh/100km
Energy cons. (on test) 15.6kWh/100km
Battery size 64kWh
Driving range claim (WLTP) 400km
Charge time (6.6kW) 9h
Charge time (50kW) 60min (claimed 10–80%)
Charge time (140kW max rate) 28min (claimed)

What is the MG 4 XPower like to drive?

What differentiates the XPower from the rest of the MG 4 range are its twin electric motors. Whereas the regular range derives its propulsion from a single motor at the rear wheels, the XPower features two electric motors, one at each axle, giving the hatchback not only blistering performance, but also all-wheel-drive surety.

Individually, the electric motors make 150kW (front) and 170kW (rear) for a combined power output of 320kW. However, MG claims a combined continuous power output of 300kW. Torque is a combined 600Nm (250Nm front, and 350Nm rear). Those outputs are sent to all four wheels via a single-speed transmission.

And that adds up to a blisteringly quick electric hatchback – the claim is 3.8 seconds for the benchmark 0–100km/h sprint. And as already revealed, there are models in the Porsche 911 range that are slower.

And it’s certainly gut-wrenchingly fast in a straight line, even in Comfort drive mode. Dial it up to Sport and things just get, to borrow a Tesla-ism, ludicrous.

The first time you stomp on the accelerator to unleash the XPower’s full potential leaves your brain just a little scrambled and your organs playing catch-up. You’re a few hundred metres up the road before the rest of your body realises what’s happening.

Ferocious straight-line speed is one thing – and it’s an impressive thing – but the XPower feels equally at home in traffic at more sedate speeds.

Around town there is none of that razor-sharp response from the accelerator (although there can be if you want). Instead, the XPower is a pleasant car to drive, with darty acceleration away from standstill up to traffic speeds and a compliant, comfortable ride, despite the weight impost of that heavy battery and twin electric motors.

An electric car is never going to feel as supple on the road as a more conventional car with a combustion engine, but MG has done a decent job of ironing out everyday lumps and bumps, the XPower remaining composed over rougher road surfaces. There is, though, a harder edge felt under wheel when navigating larger obstacles such as speed humps, a result of the hatchback’s hefty 1800kg kerb weight. It’s not uncomfortable by any stretch, but it is keenly felt from the driver’s seat.

Still, as a daily driver in typical urban conditions, the MG 4 XPower is more than up to the task, driving in a manner we’ve long come to expect of an urban hatchback. Easy to manoeuvre, easy to park, light steering and a spritely mien ensure the electric hatchback behaves exactly as a small car, any small car – whether combustion or electric – should.

Things get interesting out on rural back roads, though, where its unquestionable straight-line numbers hint at ‘hot hatch’ performance. On paper, at least.

But acceleration is only one small part of the hot hatch equation. We’d argue handling and dynamics make up the bulk of the formula.

And here the XPower does lose some of its Hunter Green sheen. Simply, there’s no hiding from the XPower’s weight, which is the enemy of dynamism.

Despite the bulk of the car’s weight situated low under the floor, there’s still some body roll when attacking some corners in a meaningful manner. And that feeling of lightness, of agility, of the ability to link together a series of corners with quick-fire changes of direction that typify the hot hatch genre, is simply absent. Simply, it’s not as much fun as, say, a Volkswagen Golf R or even a Renault Megane RS.

There’s a tendency for the XPower to understeer under more adventurous cornering, and this is despite its all-wheel-drive underpinnings, an electronic diff-lock and a torque-vectoring system that work in tandem to shuffle power to the wheels that need it most through corners. Simply, you can’t fight physics and 1800kg wants to go where it wants to go.

Of course, once you get to grips with the XPower’s dynamics and adjust your driving accordingly, there is still a lot of fun to be had. It’s hard not to enjoy firing out of corners with breakneck supercar-like acceleration.

The steering, nice and light around town in Comfort mode, firms up in Sport mode, while the big 345mm brake rotors do a good job of pulling up the MG 4. You’ll want to leave regenerative braking off if you’re exploring the XPower’s more dynamic abilities on some country roads. It’s best saved for around town, the sweet spot for harvesting precious energy from braking and coasting.

Key details 2024 MG 4 XPower
Engine Dual permanent magnet synchronous electric motors
Power 320kW (300kW continuous) combined
Torque 600Nm combined
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Single-speed automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 177.8kW/t
Weight 1800kg (kerb)
Spare tyre type Tyre repair kit
Tow rating 500kg braked
500kg unbraked
Turning circle 10.6m

Should I buy an MG 4 XPower?

In many ways, the MG 4 XPower is the performance bargain of the year. Nowhere else will you find the straight-line acceleration for the same, or even similar, money.

But is it a true hot hatch? Does its supercar-like straight-line acceleration translate to a dynamic and fun car to drive? Well, not exactly.

It is capable, yes, but there’s little feeling of engagement beyond that neck-snapping speed. A hot hatch should leave you grinning from ear to ear on the drive home from the rural twisties you’ve just explored.

But beyond testing its acceleration limits, it’s lacking that extra dollop of goodness, the key ingredients – agility and balance – of the hot hatch recipe.

Make no mistake, the MG 4 XPower is a very accomplished performance car. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find better value if straight-line acceleration is your thing. But it remains, for now, just a little short of what we’ve come to expect from a hot hatch.

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How do I buy an MG 4 XPower – next steps?

While there’s no question the XPower is fast, its best work is done around town. Think of it as a rapidly accelerating daily driver and you’ll be rewarded.

But we’d argue the $47,990 mid-spec Essence 64 is the pick of the MG 4 range. With near identical levels of standard kit, the Essence 64 might take almost twice as along to reach 100km/h from standstill (7.2sec) but remains surprisingly urgent, if untimed, at what we’d suggest is the more useful metric – 0–60km/h.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest MG news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 MG MG4 XPOWER Hatchback

7.7/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

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Rob Margeit has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, covering both motorsport and the car industry. Rob joined CarAdvice in 2016 after a long career at Australian Consolidated Press. Rob covers automotive news and car reviews while also writing in-depth feature articles on historically significant cars and auto manufacturers. He also loves discovering obscure models and researching their genesis and history.

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